Drama for Schools


DFS in white lettering on top of black circles

Drama for Schools (DFS) is a collaborative professional development program model in drama-based instruction (links to video), in association with The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance.

See Drama for Schools at Work in:
Austin, Texas
McAllen, Texas
Victoria, Texas
Galena, Alaska
Tyler, Texas
La Joya, Texas

Drama for Schools:

  • Creates intentional partnerships between UT and interested communities/school districts;
  • Collaborates with K-12 teachers and curriculum specialists interested in exploring the potential of drama-based instruction to increase teacher efficacy and student engagement across the curriculum;
  • Facilitates full day, half day, and after-school trainings for teachers, administrators, and community members interested in the application of drama-based instructional strategies (role play, improvisation, active learning techniques) across the curriculum;
  • Provides partnering school districts ongoing data on projected outcomes;
  • Shares program outcomes with community stakeholders and at related state and national conferences.

How Drama for Schools Works:

  • Initial district and/or community needs and assets inventory
  • One to three -year commitment agreement
  • Selection of a cadre of academic teachers and community partners
  • 1st year initial training sessions in drama-based instructional strategies
  • Summer Intensive for optional graduate-level credit
  • Ongoing support and mentorship by UT graduate students and faculty
  • Membership to the DBI Network website
  • Optional 2nd and 3rd year training as co-researchers and peer leaders

Through the DFS training program, teachers learn a range of tools that can be adapted to a variety of content areas and contexts, instead of one strategy for a specific lesson plan. In addition, these techniques support a variety of learning styles that keep students actively engaged in the learning process.

Through group trainings and one-on-one mentorship, teachers learn drama-based teaching techniques with the eventual goal of becoming peer mentors to other teachers in their school. Teachers use DFS strategies to help meet both the academic and socio-emotional needs of students. These issues may include violence, racial tension, developing identity, and community involvement. This dynamic process demands higher-order thinking skills and increases emotional intelligence. These effects have the potential to carry outside the life of the classroom and into community and social experiences for students.

Drama for Schools in the News:

Program Staff

DBI Website

Contact Information